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  1. #1
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    Which Bike.. F5.. F4.. or F600

    Hi guys, first post!
    Would love your expert help..
    Basically I am in Japan and so far the only bike I have had has been a 40 commuter.. with basket It's great fun but I want to start riding further and offroad..
    I used to have a Klein Attitude Race which I loved and spent far too much on.. so I want something a lot more reasonable money wise..
    Now I found a local dealer who has given me Japanese prices on some bikes...
    2008 F5 - 423
    2008 F4 - 661
    and something interesting.. a very cool looking (2 years old he said/but new) F600 (It's in the quite cool metal clad with kinda rivets style.. - works out at 475, just in between both the F4 and F5..

    Anyway, a few questions..
    First.. I hear the F5 and F4 are both not handmade in the USA frames.. whereas the F600 says on the frame it is... as an older frame (but maybe higher range..) is it better??
    Secondly.. I like the headshock system but would the 2006 bike be a lot worse than the 2008 headshock on the F4?
    If I went with the lower F5.. which has the Rockshox Dart 3 fork.. could I eventually change this out on return to the UK for something better... can the same be done with headshock bikes?

    What do you think guys???
    Go with an older (but possibly better) F600...
    or
    Go nice and new with either an F4 or F5..??
    Please help - I think I would go with the F600 if you feel it's a better frame.. The guy in the shop kept saying something about the brakes being really bad though.. Avid 5?


  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Go with any year F600. They are way better than the 2008 F4/F5 bikes. The Furio F600 is Made In USA 100%, and a great XC racer. The 08' F4/F5s are made in either China, or Taiwan(slightly better).

  3. #3
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    Sounds interesting..Thanks Zachariah.. I'm certainly leaning towards the F600 if you guys are sure that the Furio frames are an improvement on the asian made ones... seems like a backwards step from Cannondale.. Is 475 / $934 US a decent price for an F600 with disc brakes?
    Any more thoughts, especially if you have ridden both models..

  4. #4
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    What makes the F600 "way better" (the frame or components) am deciding on a hard-tail as well, and the F5 fit me like a glove, I haven't been able to try an F600

    also why is US made better than the others, and what makes Taiwan better than China?

    getting confusing trying to pick a Cannondale, maybe I will look into other brands that have a more even quality control.

    regards
    Ray



    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    Go with any year F600. They are way better than the 2008 F4/F5 bikes. The Furio F600 is Made In USA 100%, and a great XC racer. The 08' F4/F5s are made in either China, or Taiwan(slightly better).

  5. #5
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    Realize that Cannondale is now in "cost-cutting mode". Several low-end bike companies are seriously considering buying our beloved Cannondale. As a corporation- they are still in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Farming-out manufacturing of their entry-level bikes(F300/F400/F500/F4/F5) to asian firms, is sacrilege....in my eyes. Only their race-ready models(F600-F5000SL) are made in the USA.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Lee
    getting confusing trying to pick a Cannondale, maybe I will look into other brands that have a more even quality control.

    regards
    Ray
    If by more even you mean ALL of the frames are made overseas you'll have plenty to choose from (which by the tone of your post I take it to mean you feel is a down grade in quality; I'm not totally convinced (certainly a downgrade in production cost...)). Otherwise be prepared to really limit your options and pay as much if not more than you'd pay for a similar US made Cannondale.

  7. #7
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    Is Cannondale in trouble? I have previously had Klein bikes but always though Cannondale was one of the best in the business.. and selling well..

  8. #8
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    What makes the F600 "way better" (the frame or components) am deciding on a hard-tail as well, and the F5 fit me like a glove, I haven't been able to try an F600

    also why is US made better than the others, and what makes Taiwan better than China?

    If you dont like where something is made thats cool, but after a few hours of searching I am getting the feeling thats the real reason many believe one is better than the other, that and defending a purchase (sadly been caught up in that one myself )

    Ray


    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    Realize that Cannondale is now in "cost-cutting mode". Several low-end bike companies are seriously considering buying our beloved Cannondale. As a corporation- they are still in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Farming-out manufacturing of their entry-level bikes(F300/F400/F500/F4/F5) to asian firms, is sacrilege....in my eyes. Only their race-ready models(F600-F5000SL) are made in the USA.

  9. #9
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    I'm not an expert in manufacturing techniques.. and being English and living in Japan I have used products that are crap and been made in many different countries (European/Asian).. It doesn't really matter where.. there are always bad items due to inferior production/quality control and cost cutting.. However working in mobile phones in the UK for a 4 years it was a sad fact that sometimes a product which was made in multiple counties was inferior in one of those contries and not identical as it should have been.. I think the example I saw was batteries for Nokia phones that came out of (Finland? can't remember now...) were a lot better lasting then those that came out of China.. I don't know why.. but they definately held more charge..

    I hope no one is just saying that USA beats... x country and x country.. I am guessing that they have seen both products and there IS a difference in quality.. The frames are stronger/lighter/better finished..?
    (If there is not please let me know.,, really need to make a good purchase and appreciate people who are giving advice that is actually correct)

  10. #10
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    Anything made in China, is inferior. Ever seen a Chinese-made, 99-cent store safety pin? What a joke! A USA-made paper clip is even stronger than their safety pins! The Chinese people are the cheapest, most frugal people in the planet. They are not innovative people- but if you want them to COPY SOMETHING........they are THE BEST. About 90% of the world's pirated software, music, and designer purses, watches, etc........come from CHINA. How do they do it? It's called child labor. They will gladly put a nine-year-old to work for next to FREE(remember, they are tightwads)......and it's perfectly LEGAL in China!! I know, because I am Chinese. Wal-Mart is so big, because 95% of merchandise inside- is MADE IN CHINA. Some people are so stupid. When their Chinese-made product breaks......they go back to Wal-Mart and buy it again just because it was so inexpensive. China absolutely loves ignorant Americans. I'll buy Taiwan-made(they HATE China) BEFORE Chinese-made, hands-down. The day I buy a China-made bike again.......is the day I play Russian Roulette, with a 9mm gun. They are not worth the toilet paper that's used to buy them.......

    China-made bikes previously owned:
    1) NEXT road bike - flatted rims, while bunny-hopping speed bumps
    2) Triax full suspension - frame/derailleur hanger broke on 12-mile ride- frame toast
    Last edited by Zachariah; 01-17-2008 at 04:36 AM.

  11. #11
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    Interesting point.. are you Chinese or American Chinese? Your English is better then mine haha not hard I guess!
    Hard to classify a whole nation under one category I think.. but I agree they have lot's of issues in the quality control department!
    Not everyone comes from the "put 9 year old's" to work category.. my ex was a fantastic intelligent woman from Tianjin who had two degrees and a masters.. I'm sure there are some good firms in China.. maybe just few and far between?

  12. #12
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    "I'll buy Taiwan-made(they HATE China) BEFORE Chinese-made, hands-down."

    Thankfully, none of the Cannondales are made in China.
    The Asian models are all made in Taiwan.
    (correct me if I'm wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure that's the case!)

    As Zachariah points out, there is a difference!
    '05 Prophet 1000
    '09 F3
    '93 Delta V 700
    '08 F6 Lefty (son's)
    '08 F6 (daughter's)

  13. #13
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    OK.. I better scoop up that F600 quick then.. as I mentioned it's shop-new if that makes sense.. just been sitting around.. Is 475 / $934 a decent price?

  14. #14
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    hey cyrusgod,
    Earlier, you described the F600 has having a riveted paint scheme with a metal look. check the Archives on Cannondales Website. I think that paint style is an '05. in '06 the F600 was a "raw" alluminum(with no rivets), and the other option was Patriot Blue(matte)... Maybe the Jap bikes did something different. It does'nt really matter, If it is a '05, the Frame is Identical (the Furio). but the Headshock did change in '06... Does the bike you are looking at have a Red Dial on the top of the shock for Rebound adjustment?.... Or No dial at All? If it has the Red Dial it is an '06,.......and If no Red Dial, it is an '05. Just a heads up man.

  15. #15
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    Well regardless if where something is made its safe to assume you are not going to get quality at a 99 cent store, I honestly cant see how that has anything what so ever to do with Cannondale bike frames though.

    my question is yet to be answered

    What makes the F600 "way better" (the frame or components) am deciding on a hard-tail as well, and the F5 fit me like a glove, I haven't been able to try an F600

    also why is US made better than the others, and what makes Taiwan better than China?

    I now believe its just your clear dislike (you say hate) for anything China made that fuels your comments, I would rather have an American made bike as well but that is because as an American I would rather support the home team, I am not going to slam the quality of the frames other countries make (at least not without some proof)

    NEXT and TRIAX? are you kidding, it would not matter if they where made in the US or not they are low low low end bikes made to sell for next to nothing, only a fool would ever think they would hold up like a real bike.

    I will try to buy American when I can, but I will also not be a fool about it, my girl friends Japanese point and shoot camera broke after a month but I am sure as heck not going to stop buying the real cameras I need for work if they are made in Japan, you see I know the difference between my $30,000 plus Nikon work system and a cheap toy and it matters not where they where made. They are made for different tasks and to a very different price point

    I hope people do not base there buying decisions on this thread, would be sad to see someone pass on a great bike that could bring so much joy just because where it was made (speaking of quality only) there are many great reasons to buy American but that is really a topic for another forum not MTB.

    Ray




    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    Anything made in China, is inferior. Ever seen a Chinese-made, 99-cent store safety pin? What a joke! A USA-made paper clip is even stronger than their safety pins! The Chinese people are the cheapest, most frugal people in the planet. They are not innovative people- but if you want them to COPY SOMETHING........they are THE BEST. About 90% of the world's pirated software, music, and designer purses, watches, etc........come from CHINA. How do they do it? It's called child labor. They will gladly put a nine-year-old to work for next to FREE(remember, they are tightwads)......and it's perfectly LEGAL in China!! I know, because I am Chinese. Wal-Mart is so big, because 95% of merchandise inside- is MADE IN CHINA. Some people are so stupid. When their Chinese-made product breaks......they go back to Wal-Mart and buy it again just because it was so inexpensive. China absolutely loves ignorant Americans. I'll buy Taiwan-made(they HATE China) BEFORE Chinese-made, hands-down. The day I buy a China-made bike again.......is the day I play Russian Roulette, with a 9mm gun. They are not worth the toilet paper that's used to buy them.......

    China-made bikes previously owned:
    1) NEXT road bike - flatted rims, while bunny-hopping speed bumps
    2) Triax full suspension - frame/derailleur hanger broke on 12-mile ride- frame toast

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrusgod
    Interesting point.. are you Chinese or American Chinese? Your English is better then mine haha not hard I guess!
    Hard to classify a whole nation under one category I think.. but I agree they have lot's of issues in the quality control department!
    Not everyone comes from the "put 9 year old's" to work category.. my ex was a fantastic intelligent woman from Tianjin who had two degrees and a masters.. I'm sure there are some good firms in China.. maybe just few and far between?

    I am Hong Kong-born(then UK). Those ultra-greedy Communists do not know the word quality control. They only want to make huge amounts of something as cheaply as possible, and looks good enough to sell massive volumes of.......but the buyer is always stuck with items of almost zero product support/backing. Product testing/development? No such thing. To the Chinese- that's way too much overhead already....what do you think the 100% free general populace, is for?

    CHINA: "Let them all test it first- then we'll deal with the problems later"

    When I first visited China, in 1978- literally millions of unlocked, totally crap bikes ruled the streets, and they were a good twenty years.....behind the US. Now, there are 18-year-olds driving brand-new Mercedes-Benz and BMWs everywhere. What happened? We simply bought EVERYTHING from them. As a result- they are collectively the world's wealthiest nation, now. Go figure.

    As a business......Chinese-made can make you worthy competitor.
    As a consumer.......you are screwed. Come back again!
    Last edited by Zachariah; 01-17-2008 at 01:15 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Lee
    Well regardless if where something is made its safe to assume you are not going to get quality at a 99 cent store, I honestly cant see how that has anything what so ever to do with Cannondale bike frames though.

    my question is yet to be answered

    What makes the F600 "way better" (the frame or components) am deciding on a hard-tail as well, and the F5 fit me like a glove, I haven't been able to try an F600

    also why is US made better than the others, and what makes Taiwan better than China?

    I now believe its just your clear dislike (you say hate) for anything China made that fuels your comments, I would rather have an American made bike as well but that is because as an American I would rather support the home team, I am not going to slam the quality of the frames other countries make (at least not without some proof)

    NEXT and TRIAX? are you kidding, it would not matter if they where made in the US or not they are low low low end bikes made to sell for next to nothing, only a fool would ever think they would hold up like a real bike.

    I will try to buy American when I can, but I will also not be a fool about it, my girl friends Japanese point and shoot camera broke after a month but I am sure as heck not going to stop buying the real cameras I need for work if they are made in Japan, you see I know the difference between my $30,000 plus Nikon work system and a cheap toy and it matters not where they where made. They are made for different tasks and to a very different price point

    I hope people do not base there buying decisions on this thread, would be sad to see someone pass on a great bike that could bring so much joy just because where it was made (speaking of quality only) there are many great reasons to buy American but that is really a topic for another forum not MTB.

    Ray
    I have ridden the 2007 F4, F5, and 2006 F600. The Furio/F600 feels almost a full pound lighter, with razor-sharp steering response. Don't just go by my words- ride one yourself and see. The F600 was good enough for me to sell my 2005 Giant Trance 4 full suspension(think Cadillac Escalade). Hardtails are the Formula One, of mountain bikes.......and the F600 is equal to a Porsche 911.

  18. #18
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    greenhill.. great bit of advice..
    The bike definately had lock out.. but don't know if that is the same as the rebound adjustment.. it was a black dial I think... ummm.. may have to ask for a bigger discount :-)
    Were the 06 shocks a lot better?
    Thanks to everyone for making this an interesting thread.

  19. #19
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    If still available- get the F600. It has the better component group, rims, and mechanicals, as stock. Also, the F600 Ultra Fatty headshok fork has the red rebound dial(faster, or slower shock rebound control). The F4 is still a good bike- but it weighs almost a full pound heavier, than the 2006 F600. Asian robots are decent frame welders- but not many metal fabricators are skilled in the art of annealing aluminum TIG welds by hand, like at Cannondale's PA frame plant.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrusgod
    greenhill.. great bit of advice..
    The bike definately had lock out.. but don't know if that is the same as the rebound adjustment.. it was a black dial I think... ummm.. may have to ask for a bigger discount :-)
    Were the 06 shocks a lot better?
    Thanks to everyone for making this an interesting thread.
    They all have the Black Lock-out levers. the difference is the Red dial, which is the Rebound adjust... I would'nt worry about it. I think the Fork will be just as good. I'll be honest. I don't feel that there is any fine tuning to the Rebound adjust on the Fatty. I usually back mine out about 3/4 the way out. and never touch it. In Fact the Simpler Design of the '05 may be an advantage. Less to go wrong. good luck.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrusgod
    OK.. I better scoop up that F600 quick then.. as I mentioned it's shop-new if that makes sense.. just been sitting around.. Is 475 / $934 a decent price?

    Here is my 2006 F600. In late $2005, this bike retailed for $1099. You are getting a good price.....snatch it up!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    First, to clarify a origin issue and the whole China think discussed earlier. Non-USA Cdale frames such as the F5 and F4 are made in Taiwan. The competing non-USA Trek and GF frames are made in China. While the boldly place the "Made in USA" stickers on the frames where you can't miss it, look underneath the bottom bracket on the F5 and F4 and you will see "Made in Taiwan."

    Ignoring the nationalized bias, there is a far greater issue. Cannondale frames come with a lifetime warrantee to the original owner ONLY. That F600, is it truely New Old Stock (NOS) sitting around and the dealer for at least 2 years and couldn't unload a highly desirable brand and model. I'm sorry, my BS meter just keeps going off. At least they didn't tell you it was in excellent condition used by a little old lady on paved bike paths to chuch on Sunday. Frames break irrespective of where they are made, and it is nice to know you can have the frame replaced. I find it amazing. Make sure there is the original warranty paperwork from the factory for the F600.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the input ibhim.. Strangely I can believe the guy as it's quite a small shop kinda in the middle of nowhere.. also in Japan, especially where I live 99.9% of bikes are 40 made in China shopping trolley specials.. there doesn't seem to be much call for high end bikes.. (I'm sure there are some people, but more in Tokyo, not out in the sticks where I am.. Also it's a large size which I believe is for around 5foot11 and above.. another thing which in Japan (although there are much taller people then me..) makes that unit the dealer has had hard to shift I guess.. But I need to get some cash together and there is no point buying it in winter.. so if it is still there in a couple of months I may press him for a deal.

  24. #24
    dh1
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    The F600 is a great bike, but ask for a better discount. If he has had it on the shop floor for 2+ years you should get 25%-30% off retail.

    I only say this because here in the states at the end of the season, all the shops will give pretty good discounts to make room for the next model years. Case in point: I just got my Caffeine F29r for nearly $550 off retail.

    If he has had that bike that long, I would have to assume he would be willing to unload it for a better deal.

  25. #25
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    Hi all thought I'd Chime in. The F600 is a great bike I've owned F6's from 2003 to 2005 and raced them in the sport class. Hard to beat them for a working guy do it all mountain bike. I also bought a 2007 F5 to pull my kid and ride with the wife. (currently on a rush when racing). The F5 are not spec'd very well and the Dart fork is a 5 pounder. Really more of a rec bike than a mountain bike. The F4 is pretty much the rplacemet for the F6. AS to the US or Import frames. I think that just riding down the trail a regular joe couldn't tell you the difference. I believe way to much is made of the issue. American's have bad days in the welding shop too. There are lots of USA Cdales on warranty return every day. Bottom line. By the F6, I think it's spec'd a bit better.

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